Mar 08, 2021 Last Updated 9:51 PM, Mar 7, 2021

Death by slow strangulation

A season ban on coral trout (Donu) was lifted earlier than scheduled this year due to COVID-19 A season ban on coral trout (Donu) was lifted earlier than scheduled this year due to COVID-19 Sheldon Chanel
Published in January
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Growing up in his settlement in Nadi, western Fiji, Sundar Lal recalls an abundance of fish, crabs and prawns in the nearby creeks, rivers and foreshore areas.

"We never returned empty-handed," he recalls.

Lal, 80, lives in a small farming and fishing community, called Tunalia, on Fiji's main island, Viti Levu, in the Southern Pacific.

As part of Tunalia's fabric, fish is both an important source of protein and extra income.

Tunalia is representative of similar communities across the Fijian archipelago, where fishing holds deep cultural, economic and dietary significance.

According to the Pacific marine scientist, Professor Joeli Veitayaki, Fijians have relied on the sea as a food source for centuries.

Veitayaki says that because of their unique features, Fiji's tropical waters are teeming with a wide variety of fish.

This marine life is supported by an abundance of seagrass, and the world's third longest barrier reef system, the Great Sea Reef, extending 200km from the western coastline of Viti Levu, all the way to the north-eastern tip of Fiji's second largest island, Vanua Levu.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that there are around 30,000 subsistence fishers in Fiji, including 50% of all rural households. Significantly, women make up more than 80% of subsistence fishing in Fiji.

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Last modified on Monday, 25 January 2021 18:51

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